By Lorna Preston, May 5 2018 11:29AM
One classic line I hear a lot in my job (and amongst other photographers too) is “I’m just looking for one photo, is that a cheaper option?” While I appreciate that everyone is on a budget and photography is a luxury expense, I feel like I constantly have to explain my worth to people who are simply budget shopping. If you were shopping in a department store and saw a pack of 5 socks, would you then go to the till and ask if you could buy just one pair as it would be cheaper? It seems as though we feel more comfortable to ask for discounts and devalue a product when it’s being offered from a sole person or small business. Why is that?
I speak not only for myself but a lot of other photographer friends who also share my pain. So I want to bring just a few things to your attention in case you were wondering why I don’t sell just ONE photo...
1. Firstly and fundamentally we have bills to pay like everyone else. If we are lucky enough to have a studio space there’s even more outlay than an in home studio too. If we are spending a few hours working on your images (yes, it’s not just the session time we spend with you) then we don’t want to have to bin 95% of those images knowing you won’t be choosing them anyway.
2. We invest in training...constantly. Any good creative photographer should be training and developing their skills at least once a year. For me, I train with leading professionals in the industry and do a lot of online training to learn new editing techniques 2-3 times a year.
3. We want you to book us for our style...not budget. Yes, this is an ideal scenario as I fully appreciate being on a budget. BUT, if something is worth it we are always happy to invest. I recently had my photos taken by another photographer who I saved up for as I valued their style above their cost.
4. Hidden costs... There are a lot of costs that you don’t see beyond the camera and lighting equipment. We have to have the appropriate insurances, expensive editing software, and the beautiful wall art samples on the wall...not to mention the abundance of props we have!!
5. Probably the most important reason to me personally is that we pour our hearts in to our work. We try our hardest to give you more than just snapshots that anyone with a decent camera can take. For me, I want to take an image and transform it in to a piece of art. This is not a quick process so to be asked to do just one image is a bit soul destroying for an artist as we really do put our all in to it.
Ultimately we want you to have an experience with us and walk away with memories that will last forever. It would be a bit of a naff experience if you went to buy a new Ferrari and then started stripping all of the best parts away. It wouldn’t make for the best driving experience...
I want to be making art for you. I’d like to think that you would like me to do my best and make art for you too. There is a photographer for everyone and budgets to suit all. If you book me, I want you to want my style, my knowledge and creative expertise. So before you start searching, first ask yourself “what kind of photographer am I looking for?”